L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S

77-year-old widow thwarts burglary bid
Jupinderjit Singh
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 28
In a time, when aged people are proving easy targets for criminals and servants are looting their masters, a 77-year-old wife of a Goa liberation war martyr along with servants of a neighbour thwarted a burglary in her house near Rose Garden last night.

Setting up an example for other city residents to follow, the woman proved quite a lioness.

Her maid servant, Sumitra, along with two servants of a neighbour caught the burglars and handed them over to the cops of the Division No 5 police station.

The incident took place in the house of martyr, Major Shivdev Singh Sidhu, whose septuagenarian widow, Mrs S. Sidhu lives alone in her house situated on a street named after the martyr near the Nehru Rose Garden.

PCR cops too responded quickly to the SOS calls of the elderly women. She said two PCR cops reached her house within 10 minutes and took the two burglars into custody.

SHO Paramjit Singh told Ludhiana Tribune that the burglars were later identified as Raju Kherka and Ram Bahadur.

Narrating the sequence of events, Ms S Sidhu said she heard some unusual noises in the backyard of her house at about 10.30 pm. She raised the alarm. Mukesh and Lal Singh, both domestic servants employed at a neighbouring house had also spotted the intruders.

Ms Sidhu said the burglars had come from a house that was under construction behind her house. One of the burglar had removed a light bulb in the backyard to clear the way for other burglars. But when they heard the alarm, they tried to flee.

One of the burglars jumped back in the under-construction house but was caught while another was nabbed in the backyard .

Hero servants Mukesh and Lal Singh hail from Uttaranchal and Bihar, respectively.

Talking to Ludhiana Tribune, they said servants could be saviours too.

Ms Sidhu said she suspected that the burglars had some accomplices waiting outside.

The street is secured by a huge iron gate which is closed in the evening. 



Public sector banks observe strike
Tribune News Service

Bank employees hold a protest rally in front of Canara Bank in Ludhiana on Friday.
Bank employees hold a protest rally in front of Canara Bank in Ludhiana on Friday. — A Tribune photo

Ludhiana, July 28
Supporting the nationwide call given by the All-India Bank Employees Association and the All India Officers Association, public sector banks here observed a strike today.

Members of the Punjab Bank Employees Federation also held a protest rally outside Canara Bank in Bharat Nagar.

Employees went on strike in protest against the recent Reserve Bank of India (RBI) directions on outsourcing and in support of their demands, including filling of vacancies.

Addressing the rally, Mr Sudesh Kumar, said the RBI had issued instructions to all banks permitting them to outsource most of the normal banking jobs and services to private agencies on contract and commission basis. It has also decided to withdraw itself from clearing operations and the entire process was being outsourced to the National Payment Corporation, a private limited company, he added.

Leaders of the federation demanded that the RBI circular on outsourcing be withdrawn and the amendment to section 12(2) of the Banking Regulation Act on removal of ceiling on voting rights in banks should also be withdrawn.

Mr Naresh Gaur, secretary of the employees' federation said nearly one lakh vacancies should be filled through recruitment in banks. The vacancies arose subsequent to voluntary retirement scheme (VRS) and on account of retirements.

“In today's competitive scenario banks are undertaking new assignments and areas of business operations and unless adequate manpower is provided through recruitment of staff, the situation is likely to worsen and would affect overall manpower efficiency and customers services”, he said

Mr K.S. Sandhu, district secretary, All India Bank Officers Association and Mr Amritpal, general secretary, PAU Employees Union also addressed the rally.



PAU against 2 rice crops in one season
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 28
Reacting to reports about some farmers cultivating two crops of rice in one season, Punjab Agricultural University has cautioned them against this practice.

The PAU Director of Extension Education, Dr S.S.Gill, asked the farmers not to follow this practice. The cultivation of rice was posing serious challenge to water resources and leading to depletion of water as the underground water level in the state has already reached the level of 65 feet to 70 feet.

“Farmers in the state are forced to go in for submersible pumps instead of mono-block pumps. Even with the introduction of submersible pumps it should not be presumed that the problem of water is solved for ever. In some cases the underground water has become salty,” Dr Gill added.

Regarding the cultivation of two rice crops in one season, Dr Gill noted that this would prove detrimental to water-saving efforts. “ If the paddy is sown before May 1, the water level goes down by 70 cm per year. The downfall in water level is 60 cm, 50 cm, 28 cm and 10 cm for the paddy sown on May 10, May 20, May 30 and June 16, respectively.

He thanked a majority of farmers who cultivated paddy after June 15, which helped in saving water.

Dr Gill cautioned the farmers against adoption of any such practise which makes excessive use of water. He appealed to the media not to publish any such news which promote such practices that were contrary to the water saving initiatives.

He also appealed to the farmers who had harvested paddy to go in for cultivation of moong to preserve soil health and save the crop from attack of pests. 



16 chemist shops raided
Large quantities of intoxicants seized
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, July 28
In what can be described as one of the biggest crackdowns against the drug trade to check unrestricted sale of intoxicating medicines, a team of all seven drug inspectors in the state today conducted simultaneous raids on 16 chemists shops at different places in the city and other towns and villages. Thousands of tablets, capsules, injections and bottles of addictive substances were seized.

According to information made available to Ludhiana Tribune, a team of three drug inspectors descended on Pindi Street, the biggest wholesale and retail market of medicines in the region, while two other teams of two drug inspectors each carried out inspection of chemists shops at Jalandhar bypass, Samrala Chowk and some of the villages on Bija the Samrala Road and the Khanna-Malerkotla Road in this district.

Sources in the Heath Department revealed that of the 16 shops inspected by these teams, seizures were made from as many as 13 shops. The raiding parties, working under the directions of Dr G.L. Goyal, Director, Health Services, Punjab, and Mr Bhag Singh, State Drug Controller, struck a rich haul of intoxicating medicines which included 80,000 tablets, 32,000 capsules, 8500 injections and 200 bottles of cough mixtures of different brands.

The Civil Surgeon, Dr Sat Pal Sharma, said the department would take all possible steps to check the unauthorised and unregulated sale of intoxicating substances. Action initiated to ensure the compliance of the Drugs and Cosmetics Act would continue in the district, he added.



Cabinet shuffle to tone up bureaucracy, claims Dullo
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, July 28
The Cabinet reshuffle by Captain Amarinder Singh, Chief Minister, Punjab, will help the Congress by toning up the bureaucracy prior to Assembly elections, claimed Mr S. S. Dullo, president, PPCC, and Mr Lal Singh, Minister for Food and Supplies, Rural Development, Panchayats, Jails and Civil Aviation.

They were talking to Ludhiana Tribune after addressing a public contact rally at Dehlon in the Kilarapur constituency near here today.

Terming reshuffle to be a modification in the division of labour of the team, the Congress leaders said there was nothing abnormal in the reshuffle and it had been undertaken in consultation with senior functionaries in the party, including Mr Dullo.

“Just as pruning is required to keep a tree healthy, reshuffling was needed to make optimum use of all members of the team of legislators some of whom could be assigned more important jobs. The present reshuffle will certainly tone up the bureaucracy,” claimed Mr Dullo adding that it would help the party strengthen its base in masses.

On the issue of reply to the Supreme Court notices received by certain party leaders, Mr Dullo and Mr Lal claimed that a section of media had misrepresented the latest position and no reply was required at this stage.

Mr Lal Singh further clarified that the honorable court had simply served notices before admitting the petition which was allegedly filed by the SAD leader out of political frustration. “Now when Akalis have no issue, they are trying to divert attention of public to non-political matters,” maintained Mr Lal Singh.

Earlier, the two leaders called upon activists of the party to bring discrepancies of any kind in functioning of government to the notice of office-bearers of the party.

The leaders claimed to have enhanced power supply and transport infrastructure in the state.

Mr Makiat Singh Dakha, MLA, Mr Gurvinder Singh Atwal, MLA, Mr Jagpal Singh Khangura in-charge, Kilapur constituency segment, Raghu Nandan Sharma, block samiti member, Mr Ravinder Pandey, general secretary, Mr Bhalinder Singh, district president (rural), Ranjit Singh Mangat also spoke on the occasion. 



Kargil martyrs’ kin call for world peace
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 28
With their hearts bleeding and heads held high with pride, families of Kargil martyrs today called for world peace and expressed concern over reports that Pakistan was possessing around 50 nuclear weapons.

Stating that the only satisfaction they had was that their sons had laid down their lives for the country’s honour, the families of Kargil martyrs said they were otherwise scarred and trying to gather the bits and pieces of their lives after the death of their loved ones.

“War in any part of the world is going to leave more women widowed and more children orphaned. Even if it is for jehad or for any other reasons, it has to be shunned,” said Mr Balkar Singh and his wife Ms Balwinder Kaur.

Both, residents of Noorpur Bet village, gave their 20-year-old son for the honour of Tricolour in November, 2000.

They were among the five families of Kargil martyrs, who had sacrificed their lives fighting infiltrators in Kargil sector, who were honoured by the All-India Anti Terrorist Front here today.

Expressing shock over the treatment meted out to soldiers by Punjab and Haryana Governments by not commemorating Vijay Divas, the families said it was unfortunate that just six years after the war those who sacrificed themselves were forgotten conveniently.

“We are pained that the martyrs are forgotten like that. What does it take to organise a function just to make us feel that our sons’ sacrifices are valued by our nation. It is unfortunate that this happened and now the entire country is talking about us,” said Ms Mr Bhajan Singh, father of late Naik Kuldeep Singh of Sikh Light Infantry.

Echoing similar views, Ms Nirmala Devi, widow of late Subedar B.D. Sharma of 17 J&K Rifles, and Ms Jagroop Kaur, wife of late Naik Bhagwant Singh of 22 Sikhs, said though a void was created in their lives after their respective husbands died, their wounds would heal gradually if their country remembered them.

“But forgetting the day is like leaving the wounds uncovered,” they said.

But all this does not deter the spirit of Punjabis, who take pride in sending their sons to serve the armed forces.

“I am ready to send my son for the country. My brother did not get killed for anything but country. He has made our lives so worthwhile,” said Mr Dharampal Singh, a resident of Dhulkot village and brother of late Sepoy Ajmer Singh of 15 Sikh Light Infantry.



Exhibition on safe motherhood
Our Correspondent

Sahnewal, July, 28
As a part of the public information campaign launched by the Press Information Bureau (PIB) aimed at creating awareness among common people about the major programmes of the UPA govt , the Directorate of Advertising and Visual Publicity (DAVP), Chandigarh, organised a photo exhibition on the theme,“Safe motherhood” at Jifco Resorts here today.

The exhibition shows various stages of safe motherhood from the phase of conceiving baby in the womb to its delivery. The health of pregnant women, immunization against various diseases have been highlighted in the multi-coloured photographs displayed in the exhibition.

The exhibition also highlights issues relating to dangers and symptom of various types of complications which may afflict the foetus during the pregnancy period of would- be mother.

Also, the exhibition stresses the need to follow the instructions of the health experts pertaining to pre-natal and post-natal periods wherein both mother and the child needs to be protected .

The exhibition primarily highlights protection against six infectious diseases tetanus, diphtheria, poliomyelitis, tuberculosis and measles. The importance and vaccination schedule has been highlighted in the exhibition.

Further, the need for personal hygiene, sanitation, care of newborn baby and breast feeding has been adequately highlighted.

The exhibition depicts the maintenance of health record of both mother and the new born child upto a particular age. The use of ORS solution to make up for the loss of water and mineral content in the baby's body due to dehydration has also been highlighted.

In addition to it, the legal and social complications involved in arranging the girls' and boys' marriage before the respective age of 18 and 21 years, are also brought home.

The information regarding birth-control measures by use of condoms, oral pills and intra-uterine device (IUD) for delaying pregnancy has also been depicted.

The exhibition gives awareness about the legal complications of pre-natal sex determination during pregnancy besides the need of reproductive health education among adolescents.



5-yr-old cancer patient needs help
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, July 28
A frail poverty-stricken five-year- old-child, Vikas, suffering from acute lymphoblastic leukemia, is engaged in a battle of life and death.

While the doctors attending on him are making their best efforts to restore the boy back to health, the kind-hearted people of the region, as well as NGO's and other voluntary bodies, could also chip in by extending financial help to the kid, and wipe out tears of his family.

Vikas is presently admitted to Lifeline Hospital on Gill Road here. Being the only child of his parents, that too born 12 years after their marriage, his life and well being is very precious to them. They would like to do everything to save their little child but their poor financial condition was coming in the way of the treatment.

The father of the unfortunate kid, being a daily paid labourer, barely manages to earn two square meals for the family of three and is not in a position to bear the medical expenses.

Dr Maheshwari, a noted pediatrician and oncologist, treating Vikas in the hospital informed that blood transfusions and treatment was being given to the child. However, to continue further treatment, the family genuinely needed all 
possible help.

Those keen to extend a helping hand to the kid can contact the father of the child in the ICU, bed no 2 of the hospital or get in touch with Dr Maheshwari, Director, Lifeline Hospital, Gill Road, Ludhiana.



Pak artistes share platform with Kala Manch
Asha Ahuja

Ludhiana, July 28
“We feel that we have moved into another part of our own country. The air, the ‘mitti’, the culture, a ethos are a same,” said the five-member team of theatre artistes from Pakistan. They were addressing mediapersons yesterday at Punjabi Bhavan last evening . The team leader Irfan , and the members Aseem, Usman , Hammad and Alif said that they were very happy to participate in a joint theatre workshop with their counterparts and vowed to work collectively in future too.

Irfaan said they had come to India as ambassadors of peace and friendship through theatre. He said, “We want to solve the problems between the two countries through theatre.” They felt that people in Pakistan were not giving due importance to Punjabi hence they have started organising lok boli mela in different parts of Pakistan every year wherein they stage plays. This November they will stage a play Kukunus Marda Nahin,” which they are rehearsing with Punjabi theatre artistes in Punjabi Bhavan from July 21.

Dr S.N. Sewak , Director Ludhiana Kala Manch, said ,”While on one hand Mumbai was rocked by the bomb blasts, on the other hand these five Pakistanis have come here as ambassadors of peace.” He said the three theatre bodies the Ludhiana Kala Manch, Navchintan Kala Manch , Beas and the Punjab Lok Rahs, Lahore, have jointly formed a new theatre group called ‘Assan’. He said, “We will jointly produce plays and stage them in both the countries. We want to prove that art can bond the people of two countries strongly.” Presently these three theatre groups are rehearsing for the play “Dulla”. He is a hero for the people of both the countries . The play will be staged in Amritsar on July 31 and in Sahiwal , Pakistan in November.

Speakers who spoke on the occasion included (retd) Principal Prem Singh Bajaj , presently caretaker of a research library housed in Punjabi Bhavan. He felt that all research done by Punjabi scholars from both the countries should be placed at one platform for the benefit of writers of both the countries. Ms Amrita Sewak welcomed the artistes and said women should be given due respect.

Mr N.S. Nanda, Chairman, Dhan Pathohar Society, presided over the function. He said,” All theatre lovers admire the efforts of Dr Sewak and his wife for their dedication to Punjabi theatre and culture. “He said the tie of friendship between India and Pakistan could not be broken.



Mayor promises to solve choked sewer problem
Our Correspondent

Sahnewal, July 28
Mayor Nahar Singh Gill has said though the octroi will be abolished by this September but no extra taxes shall be levied on the common man as the government has sufficient funds. He was addressing a press conference here. He said that if given the party ticket for the forthcoming elections, he would leave no stone unturned to ensure the promotion of the rural areas, especially solving sewerage and broken roads problems.

Speaking about the specific problems of the Sahnewal town, Mr Gill claimed that he would solve the problem of choked sewers on priority basis and try to provide every facility to the people.

Mr Gill said:“A debt of Rs 18 crore which the Ludhiana Municipal Corporation owed at the time of his joining as Mayor had been totally cleared.”

Addressing another gathering of Congress leaders and workers at the residence of Mr Kishan Pal Sandhu, councillor, the Mayor sought their active participation in the public information campaign to be organised at Ludhiana for the purpose of enlightening the general public regarding the commendable achievements and future plannings of the govt at hand.



100-yr-old Ghanta Ghar is dying
D.B. Chopra

Ludhiana, July 28
Ghanta Ghar, known as the city’s icon is 100-year-old and is dying fast. A look around the tall memorial built in 1906 is enough to drive home the point that there are no takers for heritage in this city which speaks business all the time.

The very foundations of Ludhiana Victoria Memorial are eroding rapidly. The stone slabs at one of the four gates of the monument are already caving in as the earth underneath is eroding away. Several small to medium-sized peepal trees have come up on stone steps all around the building except at the front gate side. Some tiny peepals can also be spotted in the walls of the monument. These peepals if not checked in time can cause extensive damage to the walls. The old city has several buildings which have big peepals grown over them. That can happen with Ghanta Ghar also.

When this correspondent visited the place this morning, a couple of children and women were relaxing at the front steps at the end of their shopping spree. And the space near the iron grill around the building was littered with garbage, very similar to a dirty street. It presented at perfect picture of utter neglect.

Even the foundation stone plaque has been damaged. It states that the foundation stone of Ludhiana Victoria Memorial was laid by Mr Dewan Chand, Deputy Commissioner, Ludhiana, at the special request of the Victoria Memorial Subscription Committee. The dateline is not readable anymore because of the damage which is being caused to the building. This correspondent remembers having read the date, which was sometime in 1904, only a few months ago.

Some people have made the historical building their night shelter and hang around it in the daytime as well. The scatter garbage inside the building.



Play showcases bravery of Sikh warriors
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, July 28
A religious and historical drama based on the bravery of Bhai Sukha Singh and Mehtab Singh was staged at Sarabha Nagar Gurdwara here yesterday. The play titled ‘Ankhile Yodhey’ unfolded the Sikh history and bravery of these two warriors.

Five-year-old Taran Preet Singh stole the hearts of the sangat by his performance. The drama showcased the cruelty of Mughal kings towards the Sikh Gurus and people.

All artistes were introduced by general secretary Harinder Pal Singh and were presented siropas and mementos by the president of the gurdwara,Mr Shingar Singh. Kirtan was performed by leading jathas and religious discourses were given by Sikh scholars.



Baba Bedi flays Taksal chief
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, July 28
Baba Sarbjot Singh Bedi, president of the Gurmat Sidhant Pracharak Sant Samaj, today criticised the Damdami Taksal chief Baba Harnam Singh for his acts and for joining hands with the Parkash Singh Badal faction.

Baba Bedi said in a statement that the Sant Samaj had been formed under the patronage of Baba Thakar Singh of Damdami Taksal to preserve Sikh traditions and establish the supremacy of Akal Takht. The aim of the Sant Samaj was to have a separate secretariat of Akal Takht. During his lifetime Baba Thakar Singh had continued his crusade to achieve the goal of the Sant Samaj and he never hobnobbed with the Badal faction and he also opposed the anti-panthic forces.

Baba Bedi maintained that the Sant Samaj, while continuing its tirade against the anti-panthic forces, had celebrated the tercentenary of the birth of Khalsa and formed the Panthic Morcha and had supported the panthic forces.



Furnace industry flays erratic power supply
Our Correspondent

Mandi Gobindgarh, July 28
Industrialists of the town seek relief in power supply to the small induction furnace units in the state and to abandon the discrimination between the Arc furnaces and ordinary. This was stated by Mr Mohinder Gupta, president, Induction Furnace Association, while talking to mediapersons here on Saturday. He said such policies would ruin the industry.

Mr Gupta said if the government failed to adhere to the genuine demands of the industry, it would create labour unrest and force the small units to shift elsewhere. The power supply was released to small units for 45-hour in during the past three weeks, whereas Arc furnace and other mega units were allowed 24-hour supply while 15-year-old units were being compelled to shut down, he claimed.

In case the state face shortage of power, it should be shared by all on equal terms. Out of eight Arc Furnace units in the state, two were running at Mandi Gobindgarh. In case the power supply to mills was not ensured, it would effect the steel production resulting sharp rise in steel prices, observed Mr Gupta.

To a query, Mr J. Pal, Superintending Engineer, Khanna Circle, said power was supplied to units as scheduled fixed by the Chief Engineer, (System Operation), Patiala.

When Mr Jatinder Singh, Chief Engineer, (System Operation) was contacted, he denied any discrimination and said all units of 700 kw were getting three-day supply in a week whereas four-day supply was made available to small units. He said 1405 lakh units were required daily for Punjab.

The Chief Engineer further pointed out that power shortage would be covered with a special package of monthly power allocation of 200 mw to Punjab by the Centre out of 1020 mw production from Bhutan, whereas Haryana, Rajasthan would get 100 mw each, and Delhi 200 mw. He said work was in progress and wire had been laid upto Gorakhpur and Punjab would get relief in power supply in the coming days. 



Post office to remain open on Sunday
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, July 28
The Head Post Office, Bharat Nagar Chowk, Ludhiana, will function on Sunday, July 30.

According to Mr Vivek Kumar Daksh, Senior Superintendent of Post Offices, Ludhiana Division, the office will function from 9 am to 4 pm on Sunday to facilitate the public to file their income tax returns.



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